Devin Haney shuts out Regis Prograis, now 2-division champion

Devin Haney delivered a virtuoso performance to become a two-division champion in his first fight at 140 pounds, scoring a shutout decision over Regis Prograis on Saturday evening at Chase Center.

All three judges scored the fight 120-107 for Haney, who captured Prograis’ WBC junior welterweight title. Haney also was the undisputed lightweight champion before vacating all four of his belts in late November.

Haney (31-0, 15 KOs) earned every round Saturday night on the strength of precision punching, an excellent jab and ring generalship beyond his 25 years. He scored a knockdown in Round 3 with a sharp right hand and busted up Prograis’ face during the 12-round beating.

Prograis’ right eye started to swell shut before the end of Round 3, and he suffered a cut over the bridge of his nose later that bled profusely. Simply put, Prograis (29-2, 24 KOs) had no answers for Haney, a rising star rated No. 7 by ESPN pound for pound.

“I did everything that I said I was gonna do,” said Haney, who fights out of Las Vegas. “Went in there and I handicapped him. We knew that he was gonna come in with a big left hand. … We capitalized on his habit of leaning in. … I hit him with big shots. … I knew that I was hurting him.”

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Haney entered the ring on the heels of a career-best victory, a razor-thin decision over future Hall of Famer Vasiliy Lomachenko in May to retain his undisputed championship at 135 pounds. For his encore Saturday night, Haney picked apart a top-notch fighter, one who chided him throughout the buildup.

Prograis, who fights out of Houston, taunted Haney with claims he had “no power” and little punch resistance.

But it was Prograis, 34, who was deposited on the canvas and who landed just 38 punches, breaking the CompuBox record for fewest punches landed in a 12-round championship bout.

The previous record holder was Edwin De Los Santos, who landed 40 punches versus Shakur Stevenson last month.

Haney was already highly regarded for his otherworldly defense, but he raised his level in the city where he was born and lived until age 7. And unlike Stevenson, Haney dished out plenty of punishment.

He buckled Prograis’ legs several times in the bout and was in control from bell to bell. Not only did Haney cement his status as an elite boxer, but he also ensured contention for boxing’s top honor.

“I feel like at this point that I should be fighter of the year,” Haney said at the postfight news conference.

Naoya Inoue, the other boxer in the running for the award, will have an opportunity to stake his claim on Dec. 26 in Tokyo when he meets Marlon Tapales for the undisputed 122-pound championship.

But on this night, Haney could barely be touched.

“It was real hard to get to him,” said Prograis, who entered ranked No. 3 by ESPN at junior welterweight. His lone previous defeat came against Josh Taylor via majority decision in October 2019. “His jab was good and quick. … His footwork was definitely better.”

Haney, who is 5-foot-8, appeared to be the bigger man even though he was the one moving up in weight.

“I knew I was levels above him,” Haney said. “I was killing myself to make 135 so much, I would go into a fight and be depleted. I wouldn’t be my best self. Now I’m able to go in there and be the real Devin Haney.”

He won’t stop at 140 pounds, either. Haney has designs on competing at welterweight soon. He only stayed at 135 pounds to pursue his goal of collecting all four lightweight belts. Haney accomplished that by traveling to Australia for a pair of bouts with George Kambosos last year in Australia, winning both in dominant fashion.

And he was even more impressive against an even better fighter in Prograis.

“Devin is remarkable,” said his father, trainer and manager, Bill Haney. “He’s truly special. … I think he showed that tonight [with] his ability to handicap a fighter.”

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